At a glance
best since Mr
And Mrs Iyer
May 4 to 8, the New York India Film
Festival will screen 19 features, 21
shorts and five documentaries on two
screens over four days.
For the fourth year, the festival presents FilmIndia, a series of panel discussions on film production in India. It is
organized and co-presented in cooperation with KPMG; New York Women in
Film and Television; and South Asians in
Media, Marketing and Entertainment
Association. Additional support from
TiE Tri-State. Among the topics discussed May 7 at the Tribeca Cinemas:
Women in Indian films and trends in
The NYIFF 2011 Awards Ceremony
takes place May 8.
BEST SHORT FILM:
Presented by Rishi Kapoor and Prabhu
Dayal, India’s consul general in New
Nominees: Fatakra, Just That Sort of A
Day, My Lad, Topi, Words.
Konkona Sen Sharma and Priyanshu Chatterjee in Iti Mrinalini
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
Presented by Rituparno Ghosh.
Nominees: Bhopali, Holy Kitchen,
Made in India, The Bengali Detective,
You Don’t Belong.
A scene from 10 ml love, the contemporary
adaptation of a Shakespeare classic
Presented by Madhur Jaffrey.
Nominees: Konkona Sen Sharma (Iti
Mrinalini), Neetu Singh Kapoor (Do
Dooni Chaar), Raima Sen (Noukadubi),
Shabana Azmi (A Decent Arrangement),
Tisca Chopra (10ml love).
Presented by Neetu Singh Kapoor.
Nominees: Anshuman Joshi (Shala),
Deepak Dobriyal (Daayen Ya Baayen),
Rishi Kapoor (Do Dooni Chaar),
Shahnawaz Bhat (Harud), Subodh
Bhave (Sound of Heaven: The Story of
A scene from Yeh
Presented by Aparna Sen
Nominees: Do Dooni Chaar,
Sthaniya Sambaad, TD Dasan Std VI B.
choice of the car, the make, the color.
And then comes a gigantic lurking
temptation, an easy way out. Will
they take it?
Disney’s promotion material for the
film emphasized that it could be the
story of any middle-class Indian. ‘It is
the story of the middle-class man and
his tireless endeavor in coping with
the fast, new India Shining. It’s funny,
real and heart warming.’
The husband-wife duo of Rishi
Kapoor and Neetu Singh Kapoor are
back together on screen after 30
Faisal has said that the film was
partly inspired by his own family.
Presented by Mira Nair
Nominees: Habib Faisal (Do Dooni
Chaar), Aamir Bashir (Harud), Aparna
Sen (Iti Mrinali), Rituparno Ghosh
(Noukadubi), Dr Biju Kumar (The Way
Presented by Salman Rushdie.
Nominees: Do Dooni Chaar, Iti
Mrinalini, Noukadubi, Sthaniya
Sambaad, Sound of Heaven: The Story
of Bal Gandharva
— Arthur J Pais
In what some critics believe is her best work since Mr And Mrs Iyer (2002), actress and director Aparna Sen offers a sweet and sad story of an ageing actress’s attempt to make sense of her life in
Unfinished Letter (Iti Mrinalini), the centerpiece of
the New York Indian Film Festival.
The film, which features Sen as the actress on the
verge of committing suicide, also stars her daughter
Konkona Sen Sharma as her younger self.
Sen is a special friend of the festival, which has
screened many of her more significant films. Her latest
work has been screened at over a dozen film festivals in
at least four countries including Egypt. The Hollywood
Reporter called it ‘not a movie for the Bollywood
crowd… despite its movie world setting. It’s heavy-duty
melodrama with a fatalistic impulse that ties every
tragedy into larger events within the subcontinent
while exploiting the presence of two lovely icons of
India’s film world.’
In the film, Rajat Kapoor plays a married director
with whom Mrinalini has an affair. They try to keep
their love child a secret but the media get to know
about the daughter. Mrinalini also becomes involved
with a prize-winning novelist — played by Priyanshu
Chatterjee — who tries to convince her there is non-
sexual love. As a veteran artist, Mrinalini knows the
importance of timing and she has chosen the moment
for her final exit. Wary of what the press could do with
the memorabilia she has gathered over the years, she
decides to destroy them. Memories keep flooding her
The film is based on an original story idea Sen gave to
screen writer Ranjan Ghosh — an alumnus of
Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s Whistling
Woods International film school — who is also an associate director of Iti Mrinalini. Ghosh is the first coauthor for Sen since she began her prolific and noted
Sen, 65, made her acting debut in Satyajit Ray’s Teen
Kanya when she was 16; she directed her first, 36
Chowringhee Lane, in 1981. Many Indian publications
have called Iti Mrinalini her first mainstream attempt.
A highlight of the high-octane movie are songs composed by Kolkata-based music director Debajyoti
For the complete program and ticket